FT8 Maestro FT8

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  • Updated 6 months ago
Is there a guide to setting up the Maestro with FT8? I have FT8 with WSJT-X working on my desktop computer. How do I set up the Maestro?

Thanks!
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Barry Young

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Posted 6 months ago

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Ted VE3TRQ

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I suspect there are a number of articles here on the community to help with this. First of all, a few questions:
- are you intending to use analogue audio from the Maestro to the computer? Or
- Dax / Cat to the radio from the computer, and Pan / Slice control from the Maestro?

Both of the above are possible, just depends on the network bandwidth available, and the nature of the network connection. Personally, I use an "M" radio, with the front panel controlling pan/slice, then run whatever digital app on my Mac(s) using Loopback and xDax/xCat. Exactly analogous to using a Maestro with Dax/Cat on the PC.

If you are using Windows, install SSDR and only start up Cat/Dax for WSJT-X use. At this time you cannot have full SSDR running on your desktop and use the MAestro at the same time - it is one or the other.
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Barry Young

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Thanks for your reply.. So you start up DAX and you launch Slicer Master, and WSJT-X on the desktop?


But how do you interact with WSJT-X on the Maestro?? I know you can select DIGU mode on the Maestro..


Thanks!
(Edited)
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Ted VE3TRQ

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You only interact with WSJT-X on your computer - the Maestro would be used for radio control other than what you do with CAT from WSJT-X, i.e. set bandwidth, create/destroy slices, deal with noise blanking, set DIG-U, etc. (All those things you would normally do with SSDR, since you are running it with a Maestro connected - for now :-)
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Barry Young

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For example, How do you initiate the CQ? Or respond to a CQ? Right now I do that through WSJT-X on the same computer as SDR software. How do you watch the FT 8 activity on the Maestro? If the Maestro is just working the radio, then you would have to access to the computer to interact with WSJT-X. If that is the case the why use the Maestro, the computer is still required? Make sense?
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Ted VE3TRQ

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You are correct that you can just run SSDR on the PC, but there are two cases where using a Maestro or "M" radio interface may be better, or required.

If you are limited in bandwidth, or if you are for any reason unable to run SSDR (a Mac or a Raspberry Pi, for example), having the Maestro or "M" interface on the radio makes it possible to continue to run digital modes on your computer. Running Dax/Cat on the computer is MUCH lighter on network traffic than displaying the Panafall with SSDR on the computer. In my case, I use a 6600M and a nice big iMac to run digital modes without using dogparkSDR (which I do Hve and do use).
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Michael Walker, Technologist

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And, you continue to do it via WSJTx and continue to use WSJTx.  

Give it a try and you'll see it works.  You are using both the Maestro and the Computer at the same time.  

This is not like your Grandfathers radio (LOL) where only 1 thing can access the radio at the same time.  

But, you are correct, you can use SmartSDR or the Maestro to watch the waterfall, knobs, vfo, etc.

Mike
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Barry Young

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Sounds good...

Thanks EVERYONE for the great help!!!

Take care!
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Barry Young

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Thanks for the info.

I don’t see any advantage to running a Maestro over SSDR on the computer that is also running WSJT-X. Once SSDR ,SliceManager and WSJT-X are running, your primary interface is WSJT-X for everything FT8, calling and answering CQs, etc. The Maestro would have to be located at the Computer running WSJT-X. In my experience working with FT8, I am seldom using SSDR, primary WSJT-X, once the radio side interfaces are running.

If you could open the other slice on the Maestro that would that was running WSJT-X on the Maestro, perhaps then it would make more sense.

If this other slice was a full windows session, you could also run other external apps. But that might be too resource intensive for the Maestro hardware to handle.

I appreciate your feedback.

Thanks
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Michael Walker, Technologist

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Good morning Barry.  

Yes, true.  It would move some computer load off of Windows.  I just always use the Maestro no matter what.

Standby for a while.  We might have something for you in the next version.  

Mike
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Barry Young

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All suggestions noted and appreciated. I may give it a shot!

Thanks again to all!!!
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K8AC

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Here I'm using a 6500 and Maestro at 2.4.9.  I never use SSDR on the PC.  Maestro mode is set to DIGU with 3.0 kHz bandwidth.  DAX running - DAX channel 1 specified in Maestro and DAX Audio RX 1 specified in WSJT-X Audio tab, Soundcard input.  Soundcard output specified as DAX Audio TX.  WSJT-X Spit operation specified as "fake it".  Maestro Transmit menu DAX button pressed ON.  Maestro Menu, Phone/CW, Filter Options, Digital set all the way to the left.  On receive, adjust DAX RX 1 gain so WSJT-X receive level around 30 dB with no signals.  On transmit, set WSJT Pwr slider to max, adjust DAX TX stream TX gain to achieve desired max output power ( use WSJT-X slider to reduce if needed).  Watch Maestro Level scale above S meter so level doesn't exceed 0 on scale.  Set Maestro RF power out above the level you want to run.  Works fine for me.  See no need for Slice Master.
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Barry Young

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Thank you for the information. How to respond to CQs Etc?
Interact with WSJT-X?

I will hopefully set it up tonight and let you know if I have any issues.
(Edited)
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Neal Pollack, N6YFM

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Barry, sorry, that email should be  N6YFM  a T ARRL  d o T  net
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Neal Pollack, N6YFM

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Barry, if you don't figure this out by Sunday afternoon, shoot me an email,
N6YFM  a  T  google mail, and we can get on the phone.  I use this all the time
and it works great.  Happy to help you set up.

Neal Pollack
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Michael Walker, Official Rep

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Neal, that is awesome for you to help out.  :)
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Barry Young

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Thanks Neal,

I sure will...
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Michael Walker, Official Rep

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To echo what Ted said.  I do this all the time.

Use your Maestro normally.  

Now, with SmartSDR CAT and SmartSDR DAX running on your PC, use Slicemaster to start WSJTx for you.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ww8CcGNAzg

That should get you going.

Mike